The Orchid Inn
by Aisling Delaney
Pub date: 01-April-2022
AMBER LOVE 26-APR-2022 This review is a courtesy provided by NetGalley. To support this site and my other work, please consider being a monthly donor at Patreon.com/amberunmasked; you can also buy my books through Amazon (or ask your local retailer to order you copies). I’ve also curated lists of books and other things I like on Amazon so you can shop through my lists of recommended products.
Ava Flynn is at the end of her rope. Her husband left with just a note after cleaning out their joint savings account. Her high-powered law firm fired her without severance for insulting a billionaire. She hasn’t spoken to her beautiful sister, Sarah, for a decade.
But Orchid Island just might be her oasis. It’s on the picturesque New England island that Ava felt her happiest. So, she heads out to her grandmother Eileen’s Orchid Inn, to gather her thoughts and think about her next move. Also on the island will be her two sisters, Charlotte and Sarah.
Sarah’s longtime boyfriend, Nolan, has just died. But she feels more relief at his passing than sorrow. The problem is, she’s been left without a penny and Nolan’s betrayal from years before means that Sarah is barred from seeking a reinstatement of her architectural license. She’s drowning. Can Orchid provide a lifeline?
Charlotte has been trying to recover from a devastating loss from childhood, along with the collapse of her year-long marriage. Is Orchid the place that will provide the healing that she so desperately craves?
And on this island, the girls are given the chance to resolve the event that has haunted all of their lives for 17 years – the disappearance of their beloved father. None of them knew why he took off and broke all of their hearts all those years ago. Now, they might finally get answers. But will it be enough?
Join Ava and her sisters as they navigate life’s heartbreaks, joys, triumphs and tragedies. They will soon become your best friends!
I can recommend THE ORCHID INN only if someone needs to feel a happy ending wrapped up with a bow. Aisling Delaney has clearly defined chapters hopping through the perspectives of three sisters: Ava, Sarah, and Charlotte. My main issue is that this feels like a book that needs one more revision.
There is a fourth sister, Samantha, who is Charlotte’s twin. There’s no reason for this character to exist. She’s mentioned a couple of times merely to say she’s not there at Orchid Island and their grandmother’s bed and breakfast.
There’s also the estranged father who hasn’t been in their lives for 17 years. The last two chapters he pops up and purges his story garnering the sympathy of three of his daughters. Oh, and he returns to explain that he’s a gambling addict who won the Irish lottery and is offering each daughter $1.5 million. It does conveniently get all of the sisters out of the bottomless pits of despair they were in and forgiveness abounds. That story could have been much more of the focus. We could have seen the father’s struggles throughout instead of this info dump as he catches them up on his depressing life.
There are great parts to two of the sisters’ stories: Sarah and Ava. They had gotten into a fight and stayed away from each other for a decade. Each battled problems that the middle class probably doesn’t think about when it comes to the well-off not to mention obscenely wealthy like Sarah. Sarah’s story gets into important topics of domestic abuse that involve gaslighting, manipulation, isolation, and financial control. Ava is a hardworking lawyer who pisses off the wrong rich client and she gets fired. At that moment, misfortune sucker punches her. Her musician husband, who has never contributed financially to the family, cleans out their account and leaves her with nothing but their teenage daughter.
Sure, rich people have problems too.
Unfortunately, it’s obvious that this book started as something else. I went to GoodReads to try and add it to my Current Reading list so I could update my progress along the way. I found a different book by Aisling Delaney but some of the names are the same. It’s basically the first version of The Orchid Inn. Interestingly, that book which was named some other inn, is no longer listed. Probably a good thing because it was confusing to read that summary and then read The Orchid Inn’s nearly parallel story.
After the final chapter wraps up, there’s an author note that this is the first book of six in a series. Great news for her and possibly the forgotten character Samantha.
I rarely give anything less than 4 stars because writing a book is a grueling process and revisions can boggle an author’s mind turning it into mush. The Orchid Inn has a few of those mushy moments in repetitive sentences within a paragraph, the occasional mixed up name, the missing fourth sister who serves no purpose, and the father being sprung on everyone at the very end with a sad story and millions of dollars.
Rating: 3 stars